Like many around the country, I went late last night in watching the overtime win of my Chicago Blackhawks over the Anaheim Ducks. I was fading on the couch despite some of the best hockey playing that I have seen in years but it was all worth it to see Andrew Shaw turn the game into a soccer match and headbutt the puck into the net past Frederik Andersen. Not only was it a very cool thing to watch, it introduced a wonderful legal dispute in the championship for lawyer fans like myself to feel part of the game.
Here is the legal issue. While the rule is usually directed at kicking in a puck, the rule is pretty clear. Rule 78.5 section (i) states:
Disallowed Goals – Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee and the appropriate announcement made by the Public Address Announcer for the following reasons:
(i) When the puck has been directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player other than with a stick.
It is hard to get around “direct, batted or thrown into the net . . . other than with a stick” no matter how hard I tried last night after looking up the rule. Sometimes you just have to hate this legal stuff.
The goal was ruled a no goal, but Shaw is still the coolest guy alive for having accomplished it.
Our hawks now come home to Chicago in what looks like a brutal series.